Dental care utilization among older adults with cognitive impairment in the USA

Kyung Hee Lee, Bei Wu, Brenda L. Plassman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aim: We examined the relationship between cognitive impairment and dental care utilization among older adults in the USA. Methods: A total of 329 older adults aged 70 years and older in West Virginia, USA, were included in the present analyses. We carried out multivariate ordinal regression analyses. Results: Individuals with dementia were less likely to visit a dentist regularly, and more time had passed since their last dental visit compared with individuals with normal cognitive function. However, the pattern of dental care utilization for those with cognitive impairment, not dementia did not differ from individuals with normal cognition. A perceived greater social network and having dental insurance were associated with increased dental care utilization. Conclusions: Less dental care utilization might contribute to the oral health problems often observed among individuals with dementia. Efforts to increase the use of dental care should include cost-effective options for dental insurance. In addition, educating formal and informal caregivers on the importance of dental care might be beneficial, as these individuals are in the best position to facilitate dental care for individuals with dementia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)255-260
Number of pages6
JournalGeriatrics and Gerontology International
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2015


  • Cognitive impairment
  • Dental care utilization
  • Older adults

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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